Water Efficiency in New Build Housing

Upcoming Round Table 13/11/2024 The Building Centre, London

The debate in new build residential has recently been dominated by energy performance, meaning the spotlight has been monopolised by building fabric, low carbon heating, and renewables. However, water scarcity and increasing water efficiency is an ever-present issue. The World Green Building Council says that by 30% global demand for water will be 40% higher than supply driven by warmer temperatures, population increases and changes in usage. The built environment accounts for around 15% of drinking water use, so this is where a large gains can be made in water saving innovation. The need to reduce water use in appliances, while moving away from fossil fuels for heating water, is a fundamental part of futureproofing housing developments. Water saving means energy saving and lower bills for customers, and investing in more efficient, smarter solutions also gives opportunities for more enlightened manufacturers and housebuilders to stand out in the market.

However, what are the challenges as well as the opportunities for the housebuilding industry on increasing water efficiency in properties? Our multidisciplinary round table will bring housebuilders, water experts and solutions innovators together to discover more, and identify realistic solutions. Part G of the Building Regulations has not been updated since 2015, but what are the current levers and incentives to help specifiers and their customers reduce water use in residential new builds and retrofits, while not overtly compromising the levels of performance residents expect? 

Other questions we will explore include: 

  • views on the ‘optional’ targets for water use within Part G for housebuilders, such as water controls for properties
  • the new ‘fittings-based’ approach to compliance. Is the move to product labelling on water use having an effect, and is it the right approach?  
  • How can housebuilders work with water companies to ensure best practice solutions on water saving and energy use  (given lower bills are the result)?
  • What is DER and DPER and are there specific requirements for appliances under Part L?
  • What info do housebuilders require from manufacturers on the water saving performance etc of products – for example re Appendix Q of SAP and ‘modelling’ products within SAP
  • What are the impacts of moving away from fossil fuels to heat pumps on appliances eg showers
  • How has technology (including smart solutions) evolved to manage the balance between lower water use and performance, and change the industry’s approach to clean water?
  • How do housebuilders help customers navigate the huge choice of appliances for water saving and energy efficiency?

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